After landing a top need at quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick, the real decisions start for the Redskins on Day Two of the NFL Draft.
From their position in the third round (No. 69 overall), the Redskins must make the decision to move up, trade back, or take the best player available. Former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly revealed some of the strategy behind these decisions.
“When you set up your draft board, you have players separated by round,” he explained. “If you’re sitting there in the third round and there’s a good player at the end of the second round that you don’t think will be there when you pick, then you move up to get him.”
“You have a second-round grade on that guy, so you justify the trade that way.”
Casserly warned that draft boards fall apart when teams puts too much emphasis on positional need, skewing a player’s analysis. This can result in what has become known as reach picks.
“We’ve all done it, so you have to be disciplined not to do it,” Casserly said. “You don’t want to reach for a mid-round player, because a third-round pick has only a 30 percent chance of starting after four years.”
The best strategy for building a roster in the later rounds of the draft is to target the best players available, and target areas of need in free agency.
“Trade up if there’s a second-round value there, and take the best player otherwise,” he said. “The veteran free agent market will get going again after the draft and it won’t cost a lot of money.”
Casserly noted that the Redskins areas of need going into today revolve around the two offensive line and defensive front-seven.
“I think the right tackle position is something that you’d like to get a little more settled,” he said. “Depth on the interior offensive line is another area of consideration, and tight end is a possibility.”
Even after adding veteran defensive backs in free agency, Casserly didn’t downplay the possibility of the Redskins addressing the secondary in the draft.
“You have some depth there, but quality youth would be good if it’s available,” he explained. “There are some needs that hopefully they can fill during the draft, and if not, then perhaps another veteran free agent or two can help them.”